Comtech, Eutelsat OneWeb trial LEO services to Antarctica

Comtech, Eutelsat OneWeb trial LEO services to Antarctica

Business news |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

Comtech in partnership with Eutelsat OneWeb has announced trial services to deliver Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite connectivity to multiple regions of Antarctica.

Launched in January 2024, the service provides connectivity to customers in Antarctica. Through this trial, Comtech’s market-leading ELEVATE VSAT ground system supported Eutelsat OneWeb’s ability to deliver groundbreaking LEO connectivity services, with data rates reaching up to 120 Mbps, to one of the most challenging geographic regions in the world. Comtech worked with Eutelsat OneWeb to configure and install the company’s ELEVATE ground system to simultaneously route robust and resilient connectivity services over multiple OneWeb LEO satellites.

“This is a remarkable achievement — not only for the satellite industry, but also for the broader scientific, technology, and connectivity markets around the world,” said John Ratigan, Interim CEO of Comtech. “We are partnering with OneWeb to deliver LEO connectivity services to Antarctica, which further demonstrates the advanced capabilities of our ELEVATE VSAT ground system. With proprietary software-defined technology embedded at the core, we are continuing to build out network agnostic capabilities of our ELEVATE system to meet the future demands of innovative satellite constellations and hybrid network infrastructures.”

This trial showcased the importance of high-speed, low latency connectivity for the scientific community and wider Antarctic region. Through satellite-based LEO connectivity services, like those provided by Comtech and Eutelsat OneWeb, scientists in Antarctica can better conduct day-to-day activities by facilitating real-time support from scientific, technical or health teams around the world. LEO connectivity services also have the potential to improve the welfare of the scientists, outside of working hours, as they are often deployed for 18 months at a time in one of the most remote and geographically challenging areas of the world.

The ELEVATE ground system is a transportable, software defined VSAT system, which is proven to provide commercial and government customers with access to high-speed connectivity across diverse satellite constellations in multiple orbits. ELEVATE is designed to identify, collect and route data from multiple satellite constellations and orbits as well as deliver next generation capabilities like 4K video streaming and voice services.

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